Turn Up The Volume’s 10 BEST ALBUMS Of 2022 (So Far)

Looking back at the first six months of great 2022 albums

1. The Great Regression by DITZ (Brighton UK)

Band: DITZ
Who: Post-punk gang from Brighton (UK)
that hit the scene back in 2015

Debut album: THE GREAT REGRESSION

Released: CD/digital on 4 March 2022, vinyl
on 29th July, all via Alcopop! Records
Order facilities: here

Cal (frontman): “Themes of insecurity and gender pop up a lot over the course of the album,
as well as lots of references to the human body breaking and being harmed in unnatural ways, although there’s no one overarching concept, simply because the songs have come together over such a long period of time. The title is not so much a reference to society going backwards, but more the band’s penchant for childish jokes. “Sitting in a van all day can get silly.”

Joe Talbot (Idles): “DITZ are the best band in Brighton, if not the world”.

TUTV said: After playing opener Clocks to the max, with its Blitzkrieg grinta, it felt
like the band and I were already out of breath. Wrong, as several KO Killers follow (Ded Würst / The Warden / I Am Kate Moss and the JAWDROPPING missile closer). Ditz are a mean manic post-punk machine. The first minutes of the slower pieces (Three / Instinct / Teeth) are misleading, halfway they explode like grenades.

No rest for the wicked, no rest for Ditz, no rest for your ears.

Stream/buy here…


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2. Skinty Fia by FONTAINES D.C. (Dublin, Ireleand)

Band: FONTAINES D.C.
Who: Irish post-punk team
Albums: Drogel (2019) and A Hero’s Death (2020)


(photo by Turn Up the Volume)

New album: SKINTY FIA – 3rd LP
Released: 22 April via Partisan Records

Pitchfork said: “The Irish post-punk band’s most demanding and musically adventurous album is also its most open-hearted, striking a perfect balance between tough and tender.”

TUTV wrote: Musically and lyrically, this 3rd LP is moony, mellow and pensive with frontman Grian Chatten becoming a modern-day crooner who touches sensitive hearts, especially Irish ones as this album is about their Irish past/present/future identity in and outside of their beloved country.

Stream full LP here on Spotify…

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3. ‘Beware Believers’ by CROWS (London)

Band: CROWS
Who: Post-punk 4-piece from London


(photo by Turn Up The Volume)

New album: BEWARE BELIEVERS
The follow-up to their smoking debut
LP Silver Tongues (2019).

Released: April 1st – Bad Vibrations Records

James Cox (frontman): “The majority of the themes on the album came from what was going on in the world around in summer 2019, Covid wasn’t in our lives and the biggest impact was Brexit and the madness our government were putting us through. I was reading a lot of J.G. Ballard and Kurt Vonnegut whilst all this craziness was going on around us and it was a weird headspace to get into.”

TUTV said: “Blistering hammer blows like Garden Of England, Slowly Separate, and Room 156 are already noted in my end-of-the-year list of best 2022 knockouts. And reflective reality checks like the Joy Division-esque Healing, Moderation, Wild Eyed & and Loathsome, and the fucktastic Meanwhile have the sonic vehemence to burn holes in your stereo.

Raging ad roaring all the way. Big tunes, big emotions, big scores.

Stream/buy album here…


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4. ‘The Fantasy Life Of Poetry & Crime’ by PETER DOHERTY And FREDERIC LO (UK/France)

Artists: PETER DOHERTY and FRÉDÉRIC LO
Who: The Libertines man and the French composer/producer.


(photo by Turn Up The Volume)

Album: THE FANTASY LIFE OF POETRY & CRIME
Released: 18 March 2022 – order info here

NME wrote: “Breezy and charming baroque indie. The Libertines and Babyshambles man’s first collaborative album with French musician, composer and producer Frédéric Lo, is testament to that: written and recorded in Pete’s new home of France, there’s a sense of place throughout.” Full review: here.

Turn Up The Volume: The result of the collaboration of wordsmith and poetry fanatic
Peter Doherty and French composer Frédéric Lo who wrote the music, is a sparkling thing
of beauty. This is the record to play when you’re feeling lazy, and in the mood for doing jus nothing but daydreaming while lying in a green field enjoying the sun. Expect romantic lullabies with violins, piano and smooth horns, sweet little pop ditties, and sepia-colored tunes that transfer you to a place far away from our cruel reality.

Stream full album here…

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5. ‘The Early Years‘ by WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH (Belgium)

Artist: WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH
Who: The maestro of Belgian post-punk
crusaders Elefant and the guitarist of former
power-pop rockers The Van Jets


(photo by Julian Hills)

Debut album: THE EARLY EARS
Released: 5 May 2022 – Buy here

Wolf: “It has become a retrospective record with songs that muse about childhood,
love or life or songs that were effectively written in my youth. In terms of sound, it is a combination of acoustic, electric and electronic sounds.”

Turn Up The Volume said: Vanwymeersh is a song architect. All lullabies, reveries, and tunes at play here stick quickly. But with every listen you discover how rich and subtly layered the musical arrangements and feel-good orchestrations. Then again he invites
you into his sonic labyrinth where he goes left, right, and back in one and the same song (When You’re Old And Grey And Full Of Sleep / Fall From Grace).

The easy-listing construction of his classy compositions transfers you to
a place where reality fades away and makes room for mellow memories.

Stream/buy The Early Years here…


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6. ‘I Am Not Feng Shui’ by UNIK UBIK (Brussels, Belgium)

Band: UNIK UBIK
Who: A French/Belgian prog rock fourtet
Albums: Unik Ubik (2014), Maximum Axis and
their newest I’M NOT FEG SHUI .

TUTV said: Primarily Unik Ubik are prog rock fanatics with emphasis on rock who – I’m quite sure – have all Zappa and King Crimson, in their record collection. Mind you they’re
no copyists whatsoever and as prog rock has never been away (if you know young British gunslingers Black Country, New Road you’ll definitely understand what I mean) they don’t sound dated at all.

And UU have their own Van Der Graaf Generator‘s legendary saxophonist David Jackson named Jean-Baptiste Rubin. The man has four lungs and blows as if his life depends on it. Top!

Stream/buy the album I’m Not Feng Shui here.


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7. ‘Carrion Repeating’ by JAMES DOMESTIC (Essex, UK)

Artist: JAMES DOMESTIC (Essex/Suffolk, UK)
Who: Member of former hardcore gangs The Domestics), plus Pi$$er,
Tokyo Lungs
and half a dozen more. He’s a punk poet, DJ, singer/songwriter,
doctorate owner, producer, and inspirator of young punk bands. An artistic
centipede.

Debut album: CARRION REPEATING
Released:: April via Kibou Records

TUTV impressions: Domestic raps, rants, rips and rages through all of the 11 tracks of this solo debut LP with grit and guts. He’s a story-telling Cockney wordsmith, tackling politics, daily life shit, gobbling business sharks, and other related mess.

Musically anything is possible. Screechy guitars and 60s sounding Hammond organs to inflame tirades such as Itchy Itchy, Faze Out, Bean Counter and Push on Trough. Saxophone and steel drums straight from Trinidad on Mañana. Soulful female voices and Le Freak C’est Chic riffs on Never Enough. A reggae vibe with xylophone touches on Is Thay You?. Dub Jah Wobble bas on Weekend Carbs and Giblets. He just does what his ears like.

Stream/buy the full album here…


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8. Still Life by OLI SPLEEN (Brighton, UK)

Artist: OLI SPLEEN
Who: Singer-sonwgriter from Hastings (UK)

New album: STILL LIFE

Turn Up the Volume: Oftenly, hard times can be an artistic inspiration for
musicians (for all sorts of artists, actually). It can work or not for the psyche
of the listener. Here it works magnificently.

Spleen constructed 10 sonic paintings about his struggle for life, about
soul-destroying and physical pain, and doubts about the present and
the future. His warm and vulnerable voice fits his heartfelt, tender and
very intimate ballads beautifully.

At times distressing, at times mournful, but in
the end there’s hope, redemption and lust for life.

Stream/buy Still Life here…


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9. A False Glimmer Of Hope by BOTCHED TOE (UK)

Band: BOTCHED TOE
Who: British hardcore mavericks

Debut album: A FALSE GLIMMER OF HOPE

TUTV‘s verdict: This 18-minute hardcore Apocalypse album is 10 minutes shorter
than the Ramones‘ debut LP. Clamorous frontman James Domestic spits and sneers with frenzied force. Botched Toe is a nasty riff beast for mosh-pit fanatics and Mötorhead freaks.

StreamA False Glimmer Of Hope’ here
(but alert your neighbors first)…

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10. Selection bOX #1 by THE BARBITURATES (Ireland)

Band: THE BARBITURATES
Who: A one-man- act producing “a grungy psychedelic occult postpunk
Dadaist Guerrilla D.I.Y ontology discordian skizophonic rock band
from Derry city Ireland“.

New album: SELECTION BOX #1
What: A collection of B-sides, C-sides & soundscapes.
We hope you enjoy this hour-long album crammed full of
grungy psychedelic punk bliss & re’programming symbolism
this album is dedicated to the late great astrophysicist
Carl Sagan.

What to expect: A 60-minute mishmash of retro blues, prog-rock mania, paranoid psychedelia, radio transmissions, a David Lynch film score played by Pink Floyd, big bang Kraftwerk disco, psych-o-billy cramps, garage havoc, symphonic synth surprises, amplified ambient ambiance, sonic hallucinations and everything that boggles your mind during this 60 minutes marathon. MENTAL!

Never a dull moment with The Barbiturates.

Stream/buy the marathon here…


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